Drop 158 Festival: Creating a Comeback for Budweiser Post COVID
Video Game Development
New Drinking Ritual Creation
As a long-time partner to the on-trade business in China, Budweiser recognized the challenge facing these bars, nightclubs and itself caused by COVID lockdown. Budweiser knew that they needed to take a leading role in helping the on-trade recover some of the lost income and remind consumers that Budweiser was and still is, the best accompaniment to their night out.
Budweiser engaged TOBF to create an online to offline brand experience that would drive footfall and entice consumers to spend at Found 158, one of Budweiser’s premier venue partners in Shanghai.
The Orangeblowfish designed and developed a completely new interactive car race video game called “Drop the Beat” that was played at Found 158 by consumers. “Drop the Beat” was built on a futuristic city in which bars and nightclubs could introduce their brand on buildings and signage. At the center of the game was the Budweiser brand: it’s title, “Drop the Beat”, with a play on the word “Drop”. Building on Budweiser’s long-time association with Electronic Dance Music, where a ‘drop’ is a change in rhythm, the game had a unique feature: it was sound reactive.
Instead of worrying that clubs are noisy environments with too much background music, TOBF turned that to the advantage of the game by making its visual elements respond to the beat of the music played by the club DJ: colours would change in real time, flash and pulse according to the tempo of the music. Visually, TOBF designed the futuristic city with Budweiser’s colour and design elements and the flying vehicle using the brand’s iconic red crown identifier on the back of the car.
The pre-promotion of the game via Shanghai’s influencers ensured a packed house of eager to spend consumers who drove footfall and sales. The social media moments and news coverage posted during and after their night out helped to remind consumers that Budweiser is the best accompaniment to their night out. The coverage generated 320 million impressions and 6.8 million RMB worth of media coverage.
According to Budweiser’s China Brand Manager, “The ‘DROP’ campaign created by The Orangeblowfish helped Budweiser achieve more than 80% penetration from the event. The Orangeblowfish delivered an innovative and mind-blowing and one-of-a-kind brand experience that helped Budweiser attract new consumers.”
Imaginating a Brand Experience
While enjoying the game, players could also purchase Budweiser’s new drinking ritual “Drop the Bud”; co-created by The Orangeblowfish and Proof & Company’s Chris Lowder, one of the world’s most influential bar tenders. The new drinking ritual “Drop the Bud” included a hint of orange liquor that provided tannin and citrus notes that enhanced the flavour of Budweiser.